December 2012

Think Twice Before Rolling Over Your 401(k)

As we ring in the New Year, people are often inspired to clean up their finances. One popular move is to roll your old 401(k) plan into an IRA. In many cases this is a good decision — but not always. In a recent article on MarketWatch, Mike Piper of Oblivious Investor fame shared with us four excellent reasons not to do a rollover. […]

Have Fun (365/365)

After an entire year’s worth of frugality tactics, it all comes down to this. Have fun. Thanks to Egan Snow for the image. Whenever you’re trying to change something in your life, you’re going to make it very, very hard to sustain if you hate what it takes to make that change a reality. If you hate exercising and hate the thought of even trying healthier foods, it’s going to be incredibly hard to […]

Plan for the Payroll Tax Cut Expiring in 2013

Missing from discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff is the option to continue the payroll tax cut. To boost the economy, President Obama and Congress introduced a stimulus bill in 2010 that reduced the payroll tax, money collected at the time of each paycheck from employers and employees (workers with W2 forms). […]

Reader Mailbag: Exercise Tips

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. FAFSA worries 2. Steam sales 3. Business effect on credit score 4. Is raising chickens worth it? 5. TSP loan concerns 6. Savings or 401(k)? 7. Craigslist diving 8. Concerned about partner and retirement 9. Christmas gifts 10. […]

Happy New Years!

It seems like just yesterday that we ushered in 2012 and today we’re saying our good byes. It’s been a tumultuous year and while the economy has improved, we’re not out of the woods just yet. I have a good feeling about next year though, I feel like we’ve turned the corner and at least turned back from the specter of the recession and are moving forward. […]

The Best Credit Cards of 2012

I spend a lot of time during the year reading credit card agreements and combing through the fine print. So when it’s time to pick the best credit cards of the year, it isn’t difficult to put together a list of candidates for each category. Believe me, the really good ones stand out. But narrowing down the list and picking the winner isn’t always easy. […]

16 Cheap, Low-Cal Condiments to Brighten Up Boring Food

As much as I try to be a good gourmet and buy produce that is fresh, bursting with flavor, and grown close to my home, I can't always afford it. […]

Take a deep breath: Letting go of financial stress

I’ve been reading through some of my old posts and thinking about what I wanted for this, my very-end-of-the-year statement on money. And what I saw was a lot (a lot) of angst and worry and stress. It was appropriate, as I’d spent most of the day in a kind of crazy wound-up worked-up state, getting ready for what should be a lovely, restful retreat with a few friends from my writer’s group. […]

Best Money Tips: Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on frugal ways to beat the winter blahs, resources for a complete job search, and what to do with unwanted gifts. Top 5 Articles 6 Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs — To beat the winter blahs, play some lively music and do some spring cleaning. […]

Checking in With Old Goals for the New Year

It’s time to make those New Year's resolutions. But before you start scribbling a list to stick to the fridge, I thought it would be a good idea to check in on last year’s goals. I’ve chosen eight of the most popular that you’ve inevitably broken by now to offer my advice on how to give it another go in 2013 — and actually follow through. Good luck, and Happy New Year! […]

Taking a Day Off

Hope you all are enjoying a nice, relaxing day with family like I am. While I am taking the day off, here are links to some great articles -- the best FMF had to offer last year: Best Posts of 2011 Best Guest Posts of 2011 Best Excerpts of 2011 Enjoy! […]

How We Celebrate New Year’s Eve

A surprising number of people have asked me how Sarah and I celebrate New Year’s Eve with a frugal touch, so I thought I’d share our celebration plans. They’re pretty similar to what we’ve done the last few years. Hosting a party We host a New Year’s party on a rotating basis with some of our friends. […]

One Financial Mistake

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why. […]

Reader Story: Pursue a dream to move to a new location

This is a guest post from Jason Price from One Money Design. This summer, my wife and I took our kids on a family vacation to Disneyland in California. The Southern California weather, beaches and a trip to San Diego on Highway 1 made it an experience we’ll never forget. […]

Short-term vs. long-term bond fluctuations: an easy explanation

A few days ago I chatted with some financial planners.  They were recommending some bond funds as alternatives to holding cash or money-market funds. I admit that I haven’t looked at bond funds too closely.  I knew that there was an inverse relationship between the price of bonds and the interest rate:  as rates go up, the bond price falls, and vice versa.  What I hadn’t considered was how the len […]

Keep Trying New Frugal Tactics (363/365)

The number of effective ways to trim your spending is nearly unlimited. You can check out encyclopedic tomes of frugality tips from the library or simply visit one of a thousand frugality blogs out there on the internet and collect more tips than you can possibly deal with. When you first dive into the whole idea of frugality, it’s pretty exciting. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #106

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. […]

Remember That Time Is Money (362/365)

What is an hour of your time and energy worth? In simplest terms, an hour of your time is worth whatever you’re paid for an hour’s worth of work at your job. After all, you’re repeatedly willing to spend your time and energy at that rate, so it must be an exchange rate you’re happy with. In fact, that’s a pretty good metric to apply to the rest of the time that you have. […]